A/N: Well, none, actually.

Harry gasped. His hand flew to his mouth and he bit down hard to keep from screaming. "Ssssh," Draco whispered. Harry whimpered as Draco withdrew and then stiffened and stifled another cry as Draco pushed back into him.

"Ssssh. Ssssh." Draco cooed and Harry tried to listen, but couldn't follow the instruction because he was shaking with need and every time Draco moved inside him, every muscle in Harry's body became unbearably tense and when Draco hit just the right spot, the sensations that raced across the supertaut fibers of Harry's nerves drove him insane. Another thrust and this time a cry did escape.

"Please," he whispered. Draco rested his chin on Harry's shoulder, nuzzling the dark-haired boy's neck.

"Please what?" Harry panted slightly, his shoulders heaving a little with the effort. Draco's kisses were light, moving down Harry's spine teasingly. Harry mewled. Draco smirked.

"What was that?" he asked. Harry moaned, trying to grind his hips back into Draco's, but Draco's hand stopped him almost instantly.

"Fuck me. Fuck me hard. Please."

This was the part of the dream where Draco woke up tangled in stained sheets. Something about Harry's voice laced with need and passion made Draco come instantly. And Draco hated that. It made him run to the showers and scrub himself raw under scalding hot water.

It wasn't fair, Draco mused, his pale skin shining pink from the heat of the water and the rough strokes with which Draco was trying to cleanse himself.

They had both left school the same and Draco had come back the same, but Potter…Damn him! Potter had come back angry and sullen. It was as if someone had replaced Draco's favorite target with a stranger and all Draco's past gibes and insults meant nothing. Hell, this new stranger couldn't even spare a second glance at Draco. It angered him, this helplessness to effect Potter in any way and to sit and watch him get away with everything yet again. And now it was sixth year and Potter was more sullen than ever.

But Draco had found a way to get under his skin.

It had been an accident and if Draco had known what effect his words would have, he still would have said them, but he would have reserved a bed in the hospital wing in advance. "Merlin , Potter, did the Knight Bus hit your puppy?" It hadn't been meant to goad really. It was just a silly little phrase picked up from his mother when he was very small. She had used it whenever Draco wore a particularly long face. Imagine Draco's surprise when he found himself flat on his back with Potter on top of him.

On top of him and pummeling him to a bloody pulp, actually.

And Draco let him. He didn't know why exactly. He'd have a few days to muse about it in the hospital bed while his ribs healed. Maybe he thought that it was penance. Maybe he thought that if Potter killed him, at least he wouldn't have to feel this way anymore. Maybe he was just too stunned to be thinking anything. Potter had collapsed on him, anger finally spent. Then a curious thing happened. Something wet and scalding blossomed across Draco's shirtfront. It cut through Draco's blood-red haze, brought him abruptly into consciousness. Gingerly (because he was in pain and he wasn't entirely sure if Potter was done hitting him), Draco rested a hand on the other boy's shoulder. Then another hand in his hair. It was downy and tickled the palm of Draco's hand.

Potter did not push him away or shrink from his touch. Instead he seemed to fall apart, melting into a shaking pile of sobs and tears and bone and that soft, soft hair. Draco knew then what he was an idiot for not knowing before. He had died. Sirius Black had died and Potter was orphaned all over again. Draco knew that this information should have brought him no small amount of joy, but there was no victory to be had.

Lying there, Draco realized that it was over. Their rivalry was finished. There was nothing left for Draco to accomplish. It had all been accomplished already. Harry Potter had been dismantled. Draco was buried under the pieces. He sighed and closed his eyes, letting Potter cry, letting the tears mingle with the blood Potter had spilt. Blood that had needed to be spilt because Draco's father wasn't within reach. The blood flowed and took with it Grief and Anger and Jealousy and Pettiness.

When they reached the hospital wing, they were both empty.

He wanted to scour his skin away. He wanted to scrub and scrub and scrub with a washcloth, bath salts, anything until every bit of traitorous flesh was gone and he was just bone and spirit. Every night it was the same ritual nowthe dream, the shower, the guilt. The punishing yet gratifying rhythm he built up, causing more guilt. Murmuring to himself "I hate you" and not being sure whom he was talking to because he didn't hate Potter anymore, not really. It was just a searing resentment. Just a little bitterness turning his tongue sour apple green because he knew what he wanted now and it was impossible.

He wanted to mean something to Potter.

He wanted to matter. He wanted to see a gleam of recognition in Potter's eyes when they met with his, but since the crying incident there was nothing. Not even a glimmer of the old hatred. The green waves washed over him just like they washed over everything else, unseeing, uncaring, indifferent to the slow erosion they caused.

He wanted to smack Potter some mornings. Just walk over during breakfast and backslap him with no prelude and no explanation. He wanted to talk to Potter too. Catch him by the lake one afternoon and ask him what he thought of the Cannons' new defense. Make it real casual, as if there was nothing wrong with the Slytherin poster child chatting with the Gryffindor calendar boy. And maybe they'd exchange jokes and smile and laugh as if there was nothing strange about that either.

Uh-huh. And maybe Voldemort really was just misunderstood.

In herbology Draco would tend the pots closest to Potter. He would glance at the mute boy next to him, biting his lip, biting back the things he wanted to say but couldn't because neither Lucius nor Pride would allow it. He was afraid that Potter would notice, that he would

"What is it?" Potter asked, turning around.

That he would ask because if he asked

"What happened to you?"

Draco wouldn't be able—

"What d'you mean?"

To resist the temptation to—

"Why don't you know me anymore?"

Say what was really on his mind.

Somehow saying it was worse than feeling it. Saying it made the feeling more real, turned it into an issue. Issues that required solving because Draco still needed answers. He was cursing himself for saying it, cursing himself for not saying it well enough, and cursing Potter for not answering. A panic started to rise in him, a need to express himself more clearly, but why lay bare the meager contents of his soul before those blank eyes that even now showed no signs of recognition? Potter blinked and, slowly, something like recognition did come into his eyes. It didn't matter. Draco had already left.

He ducked behind the greenhouses and was violently and desperately ill.

Potter found him after dinner, creeping up behind him in his own dorms so silently that until he felt a hand on his shoulder, Draco had been convinced he was utterly alone. He turned and Potter dropped a slivery cloak to the floor. Draco didn't know what to say and Potter didn't seem to have anything to say. He perched on Draco's bed, one leg tucked under him. Draco went back to his homework, pretending Potter wasn't there, that those eyes weren't fixed on him, seeing him.

If he thought that ignoring Potter would make him go away, Draco was wrong.

Potter came the next day too. And the next. And the next. And every day after. They never spoke a word and beyond the first glance, they never acknowledged one another, but these silent hours quickly and easily became Draco's most important part of the day. He learned to differentiate silences: bad silences from peaceful silences, from sad silences, from interested silences. He learned embarrassed silences too.

He experienced the first of these while working on a history assignment. The assignment itself was deadly dull and Draco began to daydream, which turned into fantasizing, which in his mind's eye, turned into him going to the other end of the bed and shagging Potter senseless. He shook himself from the dream, a flush starting to spread across his cheeks. He stole a glance at Potter, found the other boy observing him with a wry grin. Draco blushed and turned his attention back to history. He didn't look up for the next three hours, even after Potter had gone.

The first time Potter had touched his skin, Draco nearly died with the effort it took not to flinch, not to reach up and pull Potter down on the bed beside him. His neck burned where Potter's hand had been and his was genuinely surprised when he inspected himself in the mirror afterwards, expecting to see scorch marks on his skin where lust had burned him. His eyes were fever bright and his skin was burning to the touch when he finally did reach out, his arm wrapping around Potter's waist, pulling him down onto a rustling nest of parchment and books.

I know you, Potter said.

You're lying, Draco replied.

Does it matter, Potter asked.


Draco's anonymity was sealed with a kiss. Potter's lips were soft and dry and hot against Draco's. Potter's body was hot and heavy and hard against Draco's. Once again he was buried under the pieces of Potter. Potter pulled away, those green eyes flat as they stared at Draco.

You're going to be the death of me, Draco said, his lips on fire.


You're going to kill me, Draco insisted.

I wouldn't kill you, Harry said.

Not purposely, Draco replied. Potter said nothing, his eyes unchanging.

Draco made his decision then. He pulled the boy to him, kissing him hard. Harry took everything Draco offered, his kiss as effective as any Dementor's ever could be. It was a lover's suicideDraco's submission to Harry's blind and impersonal passion.

When Voldemort came to him that summer with the choice of servitude or death, Draco laughed bitterly. He had already served and it had already killed him.

You know the drill by now, m'dears. Review!


J. Silver